The Flat season’s traditional finale sees trainer John Gosden double-handed in a bid to land an historic sixth November Handicap at Doncaster.
Aitken and Lahaag will line-up on Town Moor bidding to claim the big prize and it’s the latter, priced at 7/1, who makes the most appeal.
Paul Hanagan steered Lahaag to an impressive distance victory over the re-opposing Nicholascopernicus at York last time out.
The son of Marju has enjoyed the majority of his success in the hands of Hanagan – two of Lahaag’s three victories have come with the Cheshire rider onboard – and it would be no surprise if the jockey delivers once again.
That’s not all. There are numerous trends and statistics weighing in favour of Gosden’s mount.
Five of the previous ten renewal winners have been four-year-olds with the North Yorkshire saddler’s last triumph in the mile-and-a-half contest coming just two years ago when Zuider Zee was a striking victor by six lengths.
The trainer also boasts a healthy 30% strike rate from the 27 four-year-olds he’s fielded at Doncaster since 2008.
Meanwhile, stablemate Aitken will wear blinkers for the first time in an effort to regain his focus following some disappointing outings.
But this step down in class could suit a horse who should find this shorter distance more to his liking having impressed last season when landing Group 2 spoils in France over twelve furlongs.
William Haggas’ 6/1 favourite Conduct is the one to beat according to Ladbrokes. But he tackles the trip for the first time. And if stamina does become an issue then expect the Gosden double act to be ready and waiting as the winning post looms.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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